Dying While Black

Fifty minutes. That’s a long time to wait when you’re terrified a loved one is going to hurt himself, or someone else.

Fifty minutes for a 5150. “5150” is the code that police and mental health professionals use to let it be known that someone is considered to be a danger to themselves and/or others. It’s a bit more complicated, but not by much. A person could fit the bill for a 5150 and then, a day later, not. It’s generally fluid.

So, here’s the short story:

A woman calls the police because she’s very concerned for her brother. He’s already known by the cops to be mentally ill.  She lets the police know it’s a 5150 call.

I’m guessing she was scared. I’m guessing her brother was scared. I’m guessing the police that showed up after 50 minutes, minus the mental health provider crew who are supposed to be part of the package deal when a 5150 call has been made, were scared. Nonetheless.

Another mentally ill black man down. Dead. One less person, on our turf. The United States of America. What has become of us? It’s beyond saying, “When will it ever end?”

We are in the midst of a Revolution. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, so says/said [vocal artist] Gil Scott Heron, back in the day. So very prophetic.

It’s true. It will not solely be televised, because it will be tweeted, posted, hash tagged, instagrammed, videoed, live streamed…and then some.

I think Heron was on to something. I believe there will be an increasing number of face to face, person to person interactions that will take this Revolution to a grass-roots level. Social media will help keep it real, making it harder to co-opt:

Stay Tuned…